GEOG 892
Geospatial Applications of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)

Activity: Development of CONOP and Risk Assessment


It's time to develop your own CONOP and Risk Assessment methodology for the UAS you selected for the SWOT analysis in Lesson 2, by doing the following:

  1. List all potential risks that surround such operation and classify them into detectable or undetectable risks.
  2. Select three of the risks that you identified and assess the consequences of each of these risks, if it happened, on each of the following topics:
  • Project Cost (budgetary)
  • Project Schedule (time)
  • Safety (personnel, vehicle, facilities, etc.)
  1. Describe your mitigation strategy for each of these three risks, when it happens.

Your document, at minimum, should include the following sections:

  1. Cover page
  2. Table of contents
  3. Complete technical description of your system, element by element, with necessary illustration and images. It should include at minimum the following system items:
    • UAS and its components
    • Ground Control Stations
    • Data link and communications frequency and protocol
    • Payload (cameras, other sensors, and auxiliary systems such as GPS and IMU)
    • Batteries
  4. Your project description and geographic site parameters. At minimum, you should include the following:
    • Geo-referenced topographic map of the project area, showing project boundary
    • Geo-referenced thematic map of the project area showing project boundary and surrounding features, i.e. Google map
    • Sectional chart showing project boundary, airspace class, restricted flight areas, airports, towers/obstacles, etc.
  5. An operational plan, i.e. project plan, budget, schedule, flight plan, etc. Your flight plan should be executed in two ways:
    • Manual computations according to the formulas provided in lesson 4, provide all details of computations, not just the final computed value.
    • From Mission Planner software, provide screen capture and details of the flight parameters.
  6. Beside the details for the two flight plans design scenarios, provide at minimum the following information:
    • Flying altitude
    • Number of flight lines
    • GSD
    • Ground control points layout
    • Illustration on a map showing flight lines, take off and landing spots, etc.
  7. Project budget should include the following cost items:
    • System acquisition or lease
    • Personnel travel and per diem
    • Man-hours for field operations during data acquisition, including RPIC and perhaps visual observe
    • Ground control points survey
    • Equipment insurance
    • Spare batteries and other supplies if any
    • Data processing using Pix4D
    • Etc.
  8. Identification and classification of all possible risks, classified as detectable and undetectable risks.
  9. Analysis of the impact of three of these risks on project cost, schedule and safety of the surroundings.
  10. Mitigation strategies for the three risks when it occurs.
  11. Summary and Conclusions.

Submit your report in a word document, NOT a pdf, to the drop box. The report should not exceed 3500 words or 15 pages (single line spacing). You will have 3 weeks to complete this assignment. (7 points or 7%)

Deadline for this assignment is at the end of lesson 5.

To Read

  1. Air Combat Command is a good reading about UAV CONOP in general
  2. River Forecast Center (RFC) Analysis and Gridded Forecast Editor Improvement, CONOP developed by NOAA’s National Weather Service.

To Do

  1. Complete your CONOP and Risk assessment analysis as described above. Drop your completed MS Word document in the drop box in Lesson 5. (7 points)